The 1979 European Competition for Women's Football was a women's football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Italy from 19 to 27 July 1979.
The tournament featured 12 teams, with games staged in Naples and Rimini. Considered unofficial because it was not run under the auspices of UEFA, it was a precursor to the UEFA Women's Championship. Denmark won the tournament, beating hosts Italy 2–0 in the final at Stadio San Paolo.
|1979 European Competition for Women's Football|
|1979 Coppa Europa per Nazioni|
|Dates||19–27 July (8 days)|
|Champions||Denmark (1st title)|
|Goals scored||40 (2.5 per match)|
Economically, the tournament was not a success:
In the late 1970s the issue of international tournaments for women's football teams was contentious. The international governing body International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) refused several requests to sanction independently organised tournaments, declaring that such matters "were only possible through the National Association and the Confederations." Writing in 2007, Jean Williams observed that "The fact that they had been busy not organising these events seems to have escaped [FIFA's] notice. According to Williams, FIFA's bureaucratic suppression of women's football was becoming unsustainable: "By the 1970s it simply wasn't a viable option for FIFA to ignore women playing the game and hope that they would go away."
The European Confederation, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), displayed little enthusiasm for women's football and were particularly hostile to Italy's independent women's football federation. Sue Lopez, a member of England's squad, contended that a lack of female representation in UEFA was a contributory factor:
The top team in each group advanced to the semi-finals.
|Morace 15', 42'
|DBU Report (in Danish)
Report (in French)
|Report (in French)|
|Hindkjær||DBU Report (in Danish)|
|Report||De Bakker 40'
Timmer 60' (pen.)
|Sintorn 2'||Report||De Bakker 21'|
|25 July – Naples|
|28 July – Naples|
|25 July – Rimini|
|27 July – Naples|
|Sweden (pen.)||0 (4)|
|Vignotto 11', 65'
|Niemann 25'||DBU Report (in Danish)|
|4 – 3|
After a goalless first half, Denmark took the lead 10 minutes into the second period through 18–year–old striker Lone Smidt Hansen (who later became Lone Smidt Nielsen through marriage). Inge Hindkjær secured Denmark's victory with her fourth goal of the tournament, four minutes from full-time. After the tournament, the Danish Football Association (DBU) were subject to media criticism for their failure to properly develop women's football.
|Smidt Nielsen 51'
|FIGC Report (in Italian)
DBU Report (in Danish)
| European Competition for Women's Football |
Pia Mariane Sundhage (Swedish pronunciation: [²piːa ²sɵnːdˌhɑːɡɛ]; born 13 February 1960) is a Swedish football coach and former professional player. She is the current head coach of the Brazil women's national football team. As a player, Sundhage played most of her career as a forward and retired as the top scorer for her national team, but she also had stints playing as a midfielder and a sweeper.
Sundhage was the head coach of the United States women's national team from 2008 to 2012 and led the team to two Olympic gold medals and a silver medal at the World Cup. Her success led to her winning the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year. Sundhage later became the head coach of her native Sweden women's national football team from 2012 to 2017, winning an Olympic silver medal in 2016.